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FSFI writes to Secretary, Department of IT

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A letter written to Secretary, Department of I.T., Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies, on the successful drafting of Standards Policy for e-Governance.



Shri Jainder Singh,


Department of IT,

Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies,

Government of India.

New Delhi.


Dear Sir,


Sub: Free/Open Standards for eGovernance


On behalf of Free Software Foundation of India


), I would like to record our appreciation for

DIT for drafting Standards Policy for e-Governance.  Upon reviewing

the latest version (dated 26-Feb-2009) we felt that India can set an

excellent example if we can go ahead and adopt this as our policy. As

one of the most resourceful ICT countries in the world, this kind of

policy will help to create a greener and cleaner digital environment.

Therefore, the policy is not only good for India but also for the

rest of the world.  That way we can create a wonderful and healthy digital



We wish to also inform you our fears, since we know what the bigger

Industry players would always want, e.g., they would want us to make

room for their own document encodings, even if they cannot standout

as open standards, and they would not like royalty free formats.  If we

yield to these demands, let me affirm, is not in our country's

interest, and therefore request you to ensure that all the standards

remain open standards, and royaltee free implementations be possible

without any encumbrances.  We sincerely hope that the department will

not yield to such pressures from the Industry.  Any such provision

will make the entire effort go waste, for this will not help us to

get out of vendor lock-ins, and eliminate monopoly.  As an organization

that nurtures and supports freedom in computing, we find such

provisons are unacceptable for any freedom loving societies.


We are looking forward to hear this draft become effective as

immediately as possible in the present state.  We therefore request

you to use your good offices to look into the matter and notify the

policy without further amendments.


With warm regards,



Dr. Nagarjuna G.

Chairperson, Free Software Foundation of India.


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